5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note:Another week has come and gone, and it's time to round up the top headlines from the past few days. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included a Houston unicorn raising more funding, TMC Innovation's new cohort, innovators to know, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Anouk van Pol of INGU Solutions, Eric Tait of Urban Capital Network, and Chris Howard of Softeq. Courtesy photos
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from venture capital to energy — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue reading.
Twenty investigators and early-stage biotechnology companies have been named to the latest Texas Medical Center's cohort. Courtesy of TMC
Texas Medical Center Innovation named 20 oncology startups to the 2022 cohort of its groundbreaking Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics this week in celebration with the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act.
The group of Texas-based companies and academic researchers will participate in 9 months of clinical and business development education through the accelerator, with the goal of reaching new milestones, developing strategic plans for their companies, commercializing, and preparing for clinical trials. At the close of the session, the companies will be eligible to apply for grants and pitch investors and corporate partners.
"With the ongoing pandemic, which poses more threat to at-risk populations, it has never been more important to mature novel cancer therapeutics," says Emily Reiser, associate director of TMC Innovation, in a statement. "Any drug currently on the market is developed in the spirit of scientific discovery. The importance of developing innovative solutions is not just something that drives TMCi and our Accelerators, and it is at the heart of our ability to improve patient care and outcomes." Click here to continue reading.
Should you lead the company that's taking your technology to commercialization? Maybe. But maybe not. Graphic byMiguel Tovar/University of Houston
Are you a faculty member at a university? Are you a researcher with an invention that you want to monetize? Do you want to start your own startup company? If you answered yes to these questions, another question you need to consider is, should you leave your research position at the university to lead your company or get out of the way entirely?
The answer to that question will be different for everyone. Some faculty inventors want to leave and launch a company based on their research. In most cases, faculty members want to keep their university roles. What is the right decision for you? Click here to continue reading.
Urban Capital Network have launched a fund-of-funds to allow investors to tap into later-stage startups at a much lower barrier of entry. Images via urbancapitalnetwork.com
Early stage investing has always been a tried and true way for investors to get in on the ground floor of a tech company for a smaller financial commitment — but it's risky. Urban Capital Network has created an alternative.
UCN was founded to democratize investment opportunities and help investors of color find investment opportunities all while cutting their teeth as novice investors. Lenny Saizan, co-founder of UCN, says that its Horizon Fund II allows for UCN investors to get involved in venture-backed companies at a much lower price tag.
Saizan explains that UCN members are in that lower tier of accredited investors who don't necessarily have $250,000 or $1 million to invest in a fund — but they have $15,000 to $25,000 to invest.
"We allow more people to participate in venture funds or venture-backed opportunities," Saizan tells InnovationMap. "Instead of going into one deal at a very early stage, you’re getting in a later stage where the deal is more de-risked and you have a better chance of returns." Click here to continue reading.
Cart.com, a Houston-founded unicorn ecommerce company, has closed its latest round of funding. Photo via cart.com
Cart.com, which moved its headquarters from Houston to Austin in December but still maintains a local presence, just landed $240 million in equity and debt funding.
Legacy Knight Capital Partners, the equity investment arm of the Legacy Knight Multifamily Office, led the equity round, with participation from Citi Ventures, Visa, and other Fortune 100 companies. J.P. Morgan and TriplePoint Capital provided the debt financing. Since being founded in 2020, Cart.com has secured $380 million in funding.
“What [CEO Omair Tariq] and the team at Cart.com have accomplished in the last 14 months is nothing short of remarkable. They have proven they have the ability to rapidly execute on their vision of building the first fully end-to-end e-commerce platform at massive scale,” David Sawyer, chief operating officer and managing partner of Legacy Knight, says in a news release. Click here to continue reading.